adventuring – the shot tower

Continuing on the theme of adventuring and exploring places I haven’t been to in a very long time, or have never been to, last Monday I caught a bus to Taroona, south of Hobart, to visit the Shot Tower.

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I’m fairly sure I climbed this tower as a child, but other than that I didn’t know much about it. So for a brief history lesson (the link above will tell you a lot more), it was completed in 1870 by Scottish immigrant Joseph Moir and it is the only circular stone shot tower in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s 48 metres tall, with 287 steps and 31 landings.

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The shot was made from lead with antimony and arsenic added. Ingots were taken to one of two cauldrons at the top of the tower (the lower one for smaller shot or the higher one for larger shot) and poured through colanders. The shot fell into a tub of water at the bottom of the tower to cool it and form the shot pellets. According to the brochure from the tower, the shot was made only for sporting purposes.

ImageVisitors can visit the tower and climb all those stairs to the top – so what else would someone with a fear of heights do on a sunny day? From the bottom looking up, it looks a bit like this:Image

And as you climb you pass by the small windows.

ImageAt the bottom of the tower the walls are just under a metre thick.

I was shaking quite a bit while I was climbing up, and asked myself more than once why I was doing this. But I made it to the top. When you get to the top, you can look down and see where you’ve come from:

ImageYou can also step outside and see a rather glorious view of the River Derwent.

ImageAnd then you have to walk down all those stairs to get out. I thought that going down would be harder than going up (as I’ve had a bad experience climbing down a tower in the past), but it was actually a lot easier and I felt a lot more relaxed. And when I got to the bottom I was presented with a badge to say I’d made it to the top.

It was a long way to go for a scary experience, but I’m glad I did it and I’m glad it was a nice day so I could see that wonderful view. And the bus ride is a really nice scenic trip.

ImageSo there we go, Adventures: Day 3. I’m going to miss doing this when I go back to work.

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3 thoughts on “adventuring – the shot tower

  1. I’ve never been! Beautiful views – I don’t know that I would have been brave enough to look down from the top. I’m not great with heights either – which is interesting as I love getting to the top of mountains. There have been some I’ve clung to in fear and not been able to enjoy. This looks doable (I’m trying to convince myself).

    • It was a very tentative climb to the top for me, and when I got to the top I was somewhat nervous about holding my phone out to take the photos of the view in case I dropped it. Looking down was pretty freaky. Every time I did that I had to go back outside again to assure myself I wasn’t about to plummet down to the bottom 😉

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